Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley, who died of melanoma in 1981, earned $14 million in 2020, putting him eighth on the list of the highest-paid dead celebrities of the year as compiled by Forbes magazine.
Born Robert Nesta Marley on February 6, 1945, in Nine Mile, St. Ann, in Jamaica to parents Norval Sinclair Marley and Cedella Booker Marley, the reggae icon came to be known for bringing Jamaican culture and music to the world. As a boy, he attended Stepney School in Kingston. Marley began his professional musical career in 1963 after forming the group Bob Marley and the Wailers. The group’s debut studio album was released in 1965. It included the single “One Love/People Get Ready,” which established the musicians as rising stars in the reggae genre. After his conversion to the Rastafari religion, his music expressed his spirituality and he became known for his strong support of Pan-Africanism and the legalization of marijuana.
Marley married Alpharita Anderson, better known as Rita Marley, in 1966. While they remained married until his death, the singer had relationships with Miss World 1976 Cindy Breakspeare, the table tennis champion Anita Belnavis, Lucy Pounder, and Janet Hunt. Marley’s children include sons Damian Marley, Ziggy Marley, Julian Marley, Ky-Mani Marley, and daughters Cedella Marley, and Stephanie Marley.
The Top 10 highest-paid deceased celebrities in 2020 listed by Forbes, ranked in order, are superstar singer Michael Jackson, who earned $48 million; children’s book author Dr. Seuss, who received $33 million; cartoonist Charles M. Shulz with $32.5 million; golfer Arnold Palmer with $25 million; singer Elvis Presley with $23 million; basketball star Kobe Bryant with $20 million; Juice WRlD who earned $15 million; reggae singer Bob Marley with $14 million; Beatle John Lennon with $13 million; and singer Prince with $10 million.